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Georgia Southern University

Anonymous donors to match up to $750,000 for athletics endowments

An anonymous family has committed to match up to $750,000 in gifts made to the Georgia Southern Coaches Continuity Fund or the scholarship endowments that support student-athletes who play in one of the University’s 17 Division-I varsity programs.

The family has challenged all of Eagle Nation to contribute gifts of any size to the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation in order to fund endowments such as the Coaches Continuity Fund, the Tracy Ham Quarterback Scholarship Endowment and the Adrian Peterson Running Back Scholarship Endowment — funding which Director of Athletics Tom Kleinlein says is vital to ensuring the department’s future.

“The longevity of high-caliber coaches and winning programs attract first-class student-athletes,” said Kleinlein. “This donor’s financial commitment to endowments is unprecedented and is the first, and largest, of its kind in the history of Eagle Athletics. This challenge will play an essential role in the retention of successful head coaches as we continue our journey as a member of the Sun Belt Conference.”

Kleinlein says securing and retaining successful coaches as well as recruiting skilled athletes is the lifeline of a collegiate athletics department. By securing these endowments, the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation will be able to provide a perpetual source of income to support both coaches and student-athletes at the University.

Permanent means to support coaches will enable the Department of Athletics to recruit the best coaches and mentors for Georgia Southern student-athletes. Meanwhile, as costs continue to climb, endowed scholarships for student-athletes are crucial in order to cover tuition, educational fees, books and room and board.

“To compete at a championship level in college football, a program needs to not only support student-athletes, but it has to attract and retain talented coaches,” said the donor family’s representative. “A program that can sustain coaches is able to build and maintain lasting relationships between the University and high school coaches, prospective student-athletes, current student-athletes and former players. These relationships will create a thriving, yet grounded, program that has longevity.

“More importantly, these relationships will continue to build a family-like environment that Georgia Southern is known for and can be the driving force for a recruit to not only excel athletically but also academically to realize his or her dream to get a college degree.”

Those interested in contributing to the Coaches Continuity Fund, Tracy Ham Quarterback Scholarship Endowment, Adrian Peterson Running Back Scholarship Endowment or existing endowments should visit GSEagles.com/Match to make their gift. Contributions can be made in honor or memory of someone and donations can be made as a one-time gift or broken into monthly payments.

“We believe in giving back and supporting Georgia Southern University,” said the donor family’s representative. “Our family would like to challenge every alumnus and friend to do the same. No gift is too small. In the end, the ultimate benefactor of your gift is a student.”

Donations can also be sent to the Athletic Foundation, ATTN: Matching Gift Challenge, PO BOX 8115, Statesboro, GA 30460. Those interested in establishing or matching an existing endowment should contact Sally Scott, interim director of the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation at 1-800-GSU-WINS.

The Athletic Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. All gifts made to the Athletic Foundation’s Matching Gift Challenge are tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law.

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